Focusing on family: Helping kids cope with divorce in Arizona

As anyone in Gilbert who has experienced one knows, going through a divorce can be an emotionally trying event for those involved. This can be especially true for children whose parents are splitting. It is normal for such a significant upheaval to be upsetting for kids. However, there are things that parents can do to help their children cope with divorce.

Do not hide what is happening

When their parents are heading for divorce, children have likely picked up that something is going on. This can lead to confusion and anxiety. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to tell their kids that they are planning to divorce as soon as the parents are certain of their plans. Hiding what is going on may only increase the children's upset over the situation.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that both parents are present when breaking the news of the pending divorce. When telling their kids that the parents plan to divorce, it is important for the parents to emphasize that the divorce process is an adult matter, and that the children should not stress or worry about it. They should reassure their kids that this decision was in no way caused by or related to them. It is helpful for parents to provide their children with a simple explanation for why they are divorcing, but it is suggested that they keep it neutral - no finger-pointing or blaming.

Encourage communication

For many parents, the first conversation they have with their children about divorce will not be their last. Kids may need time to process what is going on. Additionally, they may have questions as things progress, including wanting to know how the legal decision-making or custody arrangement will work.

The Huffington Post advises parents to encourage their children to express their feelings about divorce. It may be upsetting for people to hear, but it is important for them to let the kids have and vocalize their reactions. Parents should also let their children know that it is okay to be feeling the way that they are. This may help prevent kids from letting their feelings build and bottle up, instead of working through them. Furthermore, it may help parents to keep tabs on their children's emotional states and gauge how they are dealing with the divorce.

Keep the kids out of the adult stuff

Often, people have negative feelings towards their spouses when they are divorcing. Allowing their children to be present for arguments, or certain discussions, may be detrimental to them. It may cause the children to become anxious, or to develop feelings of blame towards one parent, or the other. According to Parents magazine, research has shown that kids who are exposed to ongoing disputes between their parents are the most poorly adjusted children of divorce.

Therefore, it is important for parents to have conversations about finances, and other adult topics, when their kids are not around. Additionally, they should not speak poorly about their exes to their children, or in front of them. While it is just as important for the adults who are going through a divorce to talk about their feelings as it is for their children, they should not have such talks within hearing of their kids.

Working with an attorney

The longer a divorce is drawn out, the more difficult it tends to be on families in Arizona, and elsewhere. As such, those who are considering divorce may benefit from obtaining legal representation. An attorney may guide them through the process, as well as negotiate agreements on their behalf, and provide options and alternatives, all in order to help ease their stress.